By Officer Derek Johnson, Student Resource Officer at Davies High School
The holidays are right around the corner, and if your house is anything like mine you are probably receiving packages daily. Although this is very convenient for shoppers, it is very convenient for thieves as well. Packages are often left on front door steps, allowing someone in a Grinchy mood to help themselves and be on their way. According to statistics, about 23 million packages are stolen each year in America. As a police officer, I can tell you this happens daily in our community. Not only are these thefts frustrating, they often go unsolved due to the lack of witnesses or evidence for investigators to follow-up on. Here are a few things people can do to help protect themselves from these holiday thieves.
- Require a signature. Although this may not be as convenient, it does ensure the delivery company actually makes contact with someone and it can be traced back. This is a good idea for expensive items such as electronics.
- Have packages delivered to your office. Unless you are having an entire sectional sofa delivered, most things can be easily dropped off at offices with little disruption to productivity.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Request delivery companies leave packages at a side or back door; or in the case of an apartment building, the rental office. Most thieves are not going to wander around backyards for the possibility that a package may be unattended. The majority of package thefts are a crime of opportunity.
- Surveillance. Install a security system. Now-a-days, home owners can purchase wireless cameras, and even doorbells with video recording capability for around $200.
- Tracking. It seems like a no-brainer, but always track your packages. Almost all delivery companies offer some kind of free tracking capability. This allows you to know when to expect a package and avoid letting it sit unattended longer than necessary. And in the case that a package does get stolen, you can report a specific time frame to the police to help track down the responsible parties.